Friday, January 23, 2015

Cozy, cold weather knits

I've got another knitting project to share with you all today! I haven't been doing any sewing lately since it's super hard to keep the space I need clear of toys, and even harder to keep the kid from trying to run my machine while I'm not looking, so I've consoled my idle fingers with lots and lots of knitting (a decision for which I am now paying dearly; oh the knitting pains).

This project was a first for me. I've got so many different projects in my queue that sometimes it's hard to decide what I want to make next, but after seeing Michelle's GORGEOUS new socks I knew exactly what I wanted to pick up after I finished assembling that giant sweater. I've never made socks before (well besides the tiny pair of baby socks I made for the boy last year) so this was a fun new experience for me. I think it's safe to say I'm hooked. I will always be a sweater knitter at heart, but I see numerous pairs of socks in my future.

They are the Little Cable Knee Highs from The Purl Bee. I wear knee socks all of the time in the winter, over tights, under jeans, around the house. That is one habit from my Catholic high school days that I don't think I'll ever lose. When I saw Michelle's version in that gorgeous pale blue, such a simple sock design with that little bit of interest at the back of the leg (I'm a sucker for a cable) I knew I was going to need multiple pairs of these. Until now I've only had one pair of hand knit socks, a bright green pair that my mom made for me a few years ago, but they are the warmest most comfortable socks I own and I'm glad to finally have another pair. I promise they're actually the same length, but my leggings kept sliding and my slight contrapposto stance makes them look a tad off at the top as well.

alpaca cabled knee socks

After making the first sock I realized that the fit on the foot wasn't quite how I wanted, and the right sock is just a hair long, so the heel flap pulls up a bit on the back of my heel. I knitted the second sock a few rows shorter in the foot and it fixed that problem. You can see the slight difference in the height of the heel flap in the photo below.

Cabled alpaca knee socks

We just had a new local yarn shop open up in early December after a several year long fiber drought. The only other "local" option was a shop WAY the heck out (we're talking a minimum 30 minute drive and for someone who normally walks or bikes places that might as well be in another state). It's "technically" still in the metro area, but like I said, it's not really "in" the city proper. The only other yarn shop we had closed years ago and so there really haven't been any options besides JoAnn and those sorts of places (which never carry the sort of stuff I want), so I've generally ordered yarn online. I was so stoked about A Yarn Crossing opening I went on opening day specifically in search of yarn for this project. Incidentally, it's only about two blocks down from husband's restaurant/bar as well, making it a mere 3 miles from my house and FAR more convenient than driving way out in the east end. What's really great about it, in addition to being in an adorable little converted shotgun house painted lovely bright colors, is that they carry a fair amount of local fibers, too! They have yarn and roving from local farms/spinners/dyers, expanding their inventory while supporting more local businesses/artists and providing customers with really unique products. If I didn't have a toddler with me all of the time I'd seriously spend hours and hours and hours hanging out in their sitting area knitting and sipping tea. 

Anyhoo, the yarn I bought is an alpaca blend sock yarn that is really comfy and was pretty easy to work with. I wanted something in a neutral color to wear over my maternity leggings and with my skirts to keep myself warm this winter since most of my standard layering pieces won't accommodate the baby belly. 


These are actually not quite as long as the original pattern, although that was not intentional. I was reading the pattern on an iPad screen because my printer is currently down for the count, and since I can't really absorb things I've read on a screen instead of on paper I realized (after the fact of course) that I had accidentally skipped a total of 8 cable repeats between the increase rounds through the calf. They are still a totally functional height, but I'll definitely make sure to include that extra 3 inches or so of sock the next time around.

The cuff fold over should really be wider, but because I lost length in the calf I lost a little width in the cuff fold over. 


Shortening the foot on the second sock helped a lot, but I still wasn't getting quite as snug a fit on my narrow foot as I would like, so for the next pair (for which I have some butter soft, brown merino) I started the foot on size 1 needles and am switching to 2s for the calves. So far the fit is pretty spot on with those. I've had to put working on the second pair on hold for a while because I was knitting so obsessively on these I gave myself tendonitis in my right arm. It's much better, but I'm going to take it easy for a few more days before I attempt to pick them back up.

I did take a rather foolish few hours the other day to whip up some quick, scrap yarn mittens for the boy since he lost one of his, but I immediately regretted it and had to slap on a serious wrist brace afterwards. I've been trying very hard to be good since then.

fair isle toddler mitts
The yarn for these was left from the sweaters that I made him last year.
While I was very impatiently awaiting the opening of the yarn shop so I could get yarn for my socks, I went ahead and cast on for a sweater for myself as well. It's the pattern on the left, "Roll Neck", from a 1940 knitting magazine that a friend gave me a year or two ago. There are a few really cute sweaters in it, plus some seriously great knitted skirts that I'd love to make some day. But, back to the topic at hand. I figured I could start this now and maybe have it finished for next winter when I'd be able to wear it, but if not it would definitely be a good thing to finish for the following winter when I won't be nursing anymore. It's knitted top-down, and I'm maybe half way down the shoulders I think. I'll get back to that once I get my brown socks finished.

1940 knitting pattern

I'm hoping to be back to knitting by the end of the week, and should have some new socks before the month is over as long as I don't hurt myself again. It's been so hard not to be working on something.

Have a good weekend!

2 comments:

  1. Conozco ese sentimiento, los bebés son un trabajo ( hermoso trabajo, si) a tiempo completo y la máquina de coser no es lo más indicado para usar mientras el bebé está alrededor, pero mientras tanto estás tejiendo cosas preciosas, querida Evie! Yo comencé a tejer un par de calcetines hace algunos años y luego de terminar el primero, quedaron en el olvido. Los tuyos son preciosos!! Y estoy deseando ver más de ese suéter que está por venir. Un beso a tí y a tu maravilloso pequeñín.

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  2. Gorgeous socks!! I'm waiting for the cool weather to roll around here so I can snuggle up with some wool and a cardigan pattern and get knitting. When it's too hot though, I just can't even think about knitting with wool. You've got me yearning for a grey and rainy day :)

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